Analysts forecast the global organic pet food market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 9% during the next four years. Demand for organic pet food is driven by three factors – health benefits of organic pet food, increase in pet health concerns, and widespread non-organic pet food recalls.
Organic pet food can lead to health benefits including the reduction of skin diseases and allergies, increased energy and weight maintenance, and fewer digestive problems. Organic pet food can also be easier to digest, leading to absorption of more of the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy immune system.
Pet owners have also grown increasingly aware of their pets’ health concerns, and are willing to pay a premium to ensure their pets’ health is taken care of. Moreover, the increasing number of non-organic pet food recalls has caused pet owners to be more careful in their purchasing decisions.
Currently, pet food must meet the exact same standards as human food to be certified organic. In 2008, the National Organic Standards Board approved a recommendation for organic standards specific to pet food. The recommendation aimed to align pet food composition and labeling with USDA organic regulations, Food and Drug Administration requirements, and state pet food regulations.
The pet food industry and other organic stakeholders eagerly await standards providing clear and consistent composition and labeling requirements for organic pet food. Contact us if you’d like to engage with the National Organic Program on this issue.